Filmmakers Steer Clear of Big Easy Clichés

Posted on August 30, 2010

Five years ago, the worst natural disaster ever to hit the United States struck southern Louisiana, forever altering the face of America’s most unique and freewheeling city, New Orleans. While the news media revisits the Crescent City to find out what has changed and what hasn’t, a team of filmmakers working with ITVS is documenting the real story of the resurrection of a metropolis with a long history of coming back from the dead with inimitable style. 

Their documentary-in-progress Getting Back to Abnormal by former New Orleans residents, Louis Alvarez, Andrew Kolker, Peter Odabashian, and Paul Stekler, explores the state of New Orleans politics and culture five years after Hurricane Katrina. Set against the backdrop of the 2009-2010 local political season, the election of the first white mayor in a generation, and the triumph of the city’s erstwhile worst NFL team, the Saints, Getting Back to Abnormal will frame its story via the city’s complicated and ever-present issues of race.  The film was one of several to receive Open Call funding from ITVS in the most recent round. At the producers’ orientation last month, filmmakers Andrew Kolker and Paul Stekler spoke about what New Orleans means to them and why it was important to get the story right.



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